9mobile Prize for Literature

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9mobile Prize for Literature
Etisalat Prize for Literature Logo.jpg
Awarded forFirst Pan-African Prize for debut published writers
Sponsored by9mobile (2017–present)
Etisalat Nigeria (2013–16)
First awarded2013

The 9mobile Prize for Literature (formerly the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2013–16) was created by Etisalat Nigeria in 2013,[1][2] and is the first ever pan-African prize celebrating first-time African writers of published fiction books.[3] Awarded annually, the prize aims to serve as a platform for the discovery of new creative talent out of the continent and invariably promote the burgeoning publishing industry in Africa. The winner receives a cash prize of £15,000 in addition to a fellowship at the University of East Anglia.[4]

The 9mobile Prize for Literature also aims to support publishers by purchasing 1000 copies of all shortlisted books, to be donated to various schools, book clubs and libraries across the African continent.[3]

In 2017, Etisalat Nigeria renamed itself 9mobile[5] and the award name changed at the same time.[6][7]

Entry and prize[edit]

The 9mobile Prize for Literature celebrates new writers of African citizenship whose first fiction book (more than 30,000 words in length) was published in the previous 24 months. The prize accepts any printed production in book form of any type or genre, written in English or published in English translation.[8] Authors and their publishers can be based anywhere in the world.[3]

The winner of the 9mobile Prize for Literature receives £15,000, a Samsung Galaxy Note and an engraved Montblanc Meisterstück. In line with the prize's vision of promoting upcoming writers, 9mobile sponsors a book tour to three African cities for the winning writer and shortlisted writers. The winning writer is also awarded the 9mobile Fellowship at the University of East Anglia, mentored by Professor Giles Foden, which includes significant opportunities to meet other writers, publishers and work on a second book. Shortlisted writers win a Samsung Galaxy Note and also embark on a book tour to two major African cities.

The 9mobile Prize has a board of patrons (in addition to the judges) who are mostly writers, academics, publishers and critics. Patrons are carefully selected based on professional excellence and a relationship with the African writing industry. Those who have served as patrons are:[9][10]

Award history[edit]

Blue ribbon (Blue ribbon) = winner


From a longlist of nine titles,[11] the shortlist was announced on 23 January 2014.[12][13] The winner was announced on 23 February 2014,[14] and the award ceremony took place on Sunday, 2 March, at the Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos.[15]

The judges in 2013 were:[17]


The 2014 judges were:[18]

The longlist was announced in November 2014[19] and the shortlist in December 2014.[20] The winner was announced on Sunday, 15 March 2015, at the Intercontinental Hotel Lagos, Nigeria.[21][22]


The 2015 judges were:

The longlist was announced on 3 December 2015.[23] The shortlist was announced on 8 March 2016,[24] and the winner on 19 March.

  • Penny Busetto (South Africa), The Story of Anna P, as Told by Herself (Jacana Media, South Africa)
  • Blue ribbon Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo), Tram 83, translated by Roland Glasser (Deep Vellum, USA)[25]
  • Rehana Rossouw (South Africa), What Will People Say (Jacana Media, South Africa)


The 2016 judges were:

The longlist of nine titles was announced on 23 November 2016[26] and the shortlist of three on 5 January 2017.[27] The winner was announced on 20 May.[28]

  • Jacqui L’Ange (South Africa), The Seed Thief (Umuzi Publishers, South Africa)
  • Blue ribbon Jowhor Ile (Nigeria), And After Many Days (Kachifo Limited, Nigeria)
  • Julie Iromuanya (Nigeria), Mr & Mrs Doctor (Coffee House Press, USA)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Pan-African Prize for Literature Project". BellaNaija.com. 19 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  2. ^ Carolyn (7 June 2013). "First Pan-African Prize for Debut Writers of Published Fiction Books: The Etisalat Prize for Literature". Books Live. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "Prize Profile", 9mobile Prize for Literature.
  4. ^ Evelyn Osagie, "‘We won’t cut prize money for literature awards’", The Nation, 20 July 2016.
  5. ^ Wale Odunsi, "Etisalat Nigeria speaks on change of name to 9mobile", Daily Post, 18 July 18,2017.
  6. ^ Abubakar Adam Ibrahim, "Etisalat Prize for Literature becomes 9mobile Prize for Literature", Daily Trust, 6 August 2017.
  7. ^ Japhet Alakam, "Etisalat Prize for Literature Rebrands to 9mobile Prize for Literature", Vanguard, 13 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Terms & Conditions for 9 mobile Prize for Literature", 9mobile Prize for Literature website (accessed 3 August 2017).
  9. ^ Terh Agbedeh (26 June 2013). "Sustainability of literary prizes, as new one debuts". National Mirror. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
  10. ^ Patrons, 9mobile Prize for Literature.
  11. ^ "The Inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature Longlist", Books Live (Sunday Times), 23 December 2013.
  12. ^ "Etisalat Prize for Literature Announces 2013 Shortlist". Etisalat Prize. 23 January 2014. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  13. ^ Lindsay (22 January 2014). "The Inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature Shortlist Announced". Books Live. Retrieved 23 January 2014.
  14. ^ "Toast to African writers at Etisalat Prize for Literature" Archived 5 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nigerian Tribune, 2 March 2014.
  15. ^ Toni Kan, "Noviolet Bulawayo Wins Etisalat Literature Prize" Archived 2 April 2015 at the Wayback Machine, This Day Live, 2 March 2014.
  16. ^ Ben (23 February 2014). "NoViolet Bulawayo Wins the Inaugural Etisalat Prize for Literature". Books Live. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
  17. ^ "List of Panel of Judges for Etisalat Prize for Literature out", Vanguard, 21 July 2013.
  18. ^ Akintayo Abodunrin, "Quartet announced as judges for 2014 Etisalat Prize" Archived 14 September 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Nigerian Tribune, 20 July 2014.
  19. ^ "Longlist For Etisalat Prize for Literature 2014 Announced", 11 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Candidates announced for Etisalat Prize for Literature", The Nation, 14 December 2014.
  21. ^ "South African Songeziwe Mahlangu Wins the 2014 Etisalat Prize for Literature For His Story ‘Pen Umbra’", BellaNaija, 16 March 2015.
  22. ^ Micheal Abimboye, "South African wins Etisalat prize for Literature", Premium Times, 16 March 2015.
  23. ^ "Etisalat Prize for Literature Announces 2015 Longlist". CSR Newswire. African Press Organization. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  24. ^ Mitchelle Okuku (18 March 2016). "Meet the finalists of the Etisalat Prize for Literature 2015". naij.com. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  25. ^ Jennifer (19 March 2016). "Fiston Mwanza Mujila wins 2015 Etisalat Prize for Tram 83". Books Live. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  26. ^ "9 Authors Make Etisalat Prize for Literature 2016 Longlist", 23 November 2016.
  27. ^ "Etisalat Prize for Literature Announces 2016 Shortlist", 5 January 2017.
  28. ^ Otosirieze Obi-Young (20 May 2017). "Jowhor Ile is the First Nigerian to Win the Etisalat Prize for Literature". Brittle Paper. Retrieved 21 May 2017.

External links[edit]